The Principle of Procreative Beneficence: Old Arguments and A New Challenge

Bioethics 28 (5):255-262 (2014)
In the last ten years, there have been a number of attempts to refute Julian Savulescu's Principle of Procreative Beneficence; a principle which claims that parents have a moral obligation to have the best child that they can possibly have. So far, no arguments against this principle have succeeded at refuting it. This paper tries to explain the shortcomings of some of the more notable arguments against this principle. I attempt to break down the argument for the principle and in doing so, I explain what is needed to properly refute it. This helps me show how and why the arguments of Rebecca Bennett, Sarah Stoller and others fail to refute the principle. Afterwards, I offer a new challenge to the principle. I attack what I understand to be a fundamental premise of the argument, a premise which has been overlooked in the literature written about this principle. I argue that there is no reason to suppose, as Savulescu does, that morality requires us to do what we have most reason to do. If we reject this premise, as I believe we have reason to do, the argument for Procreative Beneficence fails
Keywords PGD  Rebecca Bennett  procreative beneficence  morality  de Melo‐Martin  Robert Sparrow  Julian Savulescu
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2012.01999.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
B. Saunders (2015). Is Procreative Beneficence Obligatory? Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2):175-178.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
J. Savulescu (2007). In Defence of Procreative Beneficence. Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (5):284-288.
Diego S. Silva (2010). Dignity Promotion and Beneficence. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7 (4):365-372.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

29 ( #108,149 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.